McIntire School of Commerce Holds Forum on Investment Strategies in Turbulent Times

October 6, 2008 — Have you ever seen anything like this before? Is the $700 billion "bailout" legislation necessary? Is this the beginning of the end of America's global economic dominance?

These questions raised just some of the issues considered by a panel of outstanding hedge fund managers at the University of Virginia McIntire School of Commerce's Oct. 3 Fall Forum, "Investment Strategies in Turbulent Times."

The panel discussion was led by 1985 Commerce School alumnus John A. Griffin, president and founder of Blue Ridge Capital, and featured 1997 McIntire grad Richard M. Gerson, managing director of Blue Ridge Capital LLC; Julian H. Robertson, co-founder of legendary hedge fund Tiger Management; 1988 McIntire alumnus Chris W. Shumway, founding partner of Shumway Capital Partners; and 1993 McIntire grad Paul Touradji, president and chief investment officer of Touradji Capital Management.

The size of the forum crowd reflected the stunning nature of recent financial events: More than 1,000 McIntire alumni, students and friends turned out for the event in Old Cabell Hall. Guests who could not be accommodated in Cabell Hall were invited to view the event via a live video feed in McIntire's state-of-the-art new home in Rouss & Robertson halls.

"We were very pleased to host such a phenomenal group of McIntire alumni and friends to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing the financial world today," McIntire Dean Carl Zeithaml said. "We are equally delighted that so many members of the McIntire community were able to join us for such an important and timely discussion."

Zeithaml noted that although the forum's title seemed possibly "too dramatic" when the forum was planned last spring, the past month's events made the event's planners look like "masters of understatement."

"The fact that we were able to assemble such an outstanding panel during such a tumultuous time is really a testament to the dedication of McIntire alumni to both the school and the University," said Griffin, the panel's moderator.

Griffin also noted that the success of the panelists themselves could, in part, be attributed to the strength of the McIntire network. Griffin, Shumway and Touradji were all trained by Robertson at Tiger Management, and Gerson was a founding member of Griffin's Blue Ridge Capital.

"Although we work in potentially competitive sectors," Griffin said, "we often turn to one another for advice and insight. It's one of the really phenomenal benefits of being part of the McIntire network."